Recently I had the privilege of attending a course on Linked Data and Semantic technologies. It was a 2-day intensive course given by a brilliant Ivo Velitchkov to people working in the European institutions.
I cannot yet say that technologies like RDF, SPARQL, OWL or SHACL have now no secrets for me, far from it. At least I better understand their potential and possible applications. Especially now that I had the opportunity to deepen these technologies with the help of Kingsley and Margaret on social media. This is what I will share with you here below.
Of course, everything started with sketchnotes. Because I couldn’t help but take visual notes during the two days of the course.
Someone asked me if I drew these notes after the class, after having put my thoughts and ideas in order. Well not at all! First because I don’t have time after. Rather because taking visual notes live is my best way to understand what is said during the course, to assimilate and to remember later.
I usually publish my work, whether drawings or photos, on the Flickr platform. So I published this series of visual notes in a dedicated Flickr album that I tweeted.
On Twitter, I was quickly asked by Kingsley Uyi Idehen for the URL/URI per image. Kingsley was unknown to me until then.
Gosh…. I was forced to put into practice the concepts learned during the course!
The Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is the string of characters that unambiguously identifies a particular resource.
The RDF Triple, or semantic triple, is the atomic data entity in the RDF data model that codifies a statement about semantic data in the form of subject–predicate–object expressions (e.g. “this image is sketchnotes”, or “this image depicts semantic web”).
Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait! Enfin presque! (No sooner said than done! Well almost!)
Still on Twitter, Margaret Warren asked me to post my images on her imagesnippets.com platform.
ImageSnippets is a complete metadata editing interface that enables someone who knows little to nothing about RDF, OWL, ontologies, or even URIs to create descriptions for images using Linked Data (also known as structured data) which is written in RDF.
I took the challenge and added my images on the platform. I also had fun to enrich them with meta-data, RDF triples and annotations. This was a great exercise after the Ivo’ course where I put into practice what I had learned. Margaret was also unknown to me until then.
I’m proud to give you here the URI of my images on imagesnippets.com :
Like me, you can ask what is the added value of publishing photos, or pictures, on a RDF platform such as imagesnippets.com rather than on a platform like Flickr entirely dedicated to photos.
If your goal is to organize, retrieve and look at your photos, then Flickr does the trick. If your goal is to share your photos with friends and people with the same interests as you, eventually to comment and like, then again Flickr does the trick.
But if the final goal is that your images can be semantically connected to related content on the web – be it words, paragraphs, documents, other images, people or objects – then the “RDF” approach is required. For this to be possible, your images must become nodes of the graph of Linked Data. This way both humans and machines can find them and link them to other pieces of information on the web. What I did on imagesnippets.com.
Having content, like your images, semantically connected on the so-called Semantic Web will help to create and make more sense (to current chaotic web). Is it not a noble cause to change the messy web where the search results don’t provide real answers to the questions, to a place where answers make sense?
Linked Data and the Semantic Web have of course other benefits. You can find out more by watching the first 13 minutes of this webinar :
Check out Kingsley’s thread on Twitter to see all of that in action (from a human perspective, which is not equal to the machine one):
Thank you Ivo for your support, your help to review the text, and your suggestions.
Thank you Margaret and Kingsley for these great interactions for the benefit of my understanding of the semantic web! I hope this post will help others to better understand it too.
One Reply to “Linked Data, Semantic web, sketchnotes and online collaboration”
Great post Claudio, very inspiring. Hope to follow-up on this soon and «link» our on-going project to your thoughts.